Chick Fil A’s “Appreciation Day” or Spite is Not a Christian Virtue

by Sierra

This morning, one of the first things I saw on my facebook feed was an explosion of pictures of Chick-fil-A buildings around the country mobbed by evangelical Christians. The lines wrapped around the buildings, out into the parking lot. Fat, shiny SUVs sat cooling off and reminding everybody that their owners were people of means. And I felt sick.

This was no display of Christian love. This was no humble stand for the truth. This was an act of spite. Bloated, aggressive spite, rooted in pride and void of compassion. The evangelicals who showed up waving American flags and shouting sexual slurs were not emulating Jesus. They were piling sacks of coins on the tables of the moneychangers in the temple, not casting them out.

If you stood in line to purchase chicken sandwiches yesterday, knowing the profits were directly supporting a bill legalizing homicide of homosexual people in Uganda, congratulations: you’re worse than the Westboro Baptist Church. You just paid for murder. Funny, I thought you were “pro-life.” I think state-run slaughter of individuals based on their identity is much closer to “genocide” than women aborting unwanted pregnancies.

The language I saw this morning, accompanying the pictures of evangelical gluttony, was all grounded in the concept of “defending freedom of speech.” How interesting. When I was an evangelical-fundamentalist kid, I was taught that Christians shouldn’t fight to defend their rights because God would defend them. I was taught that we were supposed to be like the martyrs, giving up our very right to life for the glory of God. Funny how, in retrospect, the mantra “a lamb gives up its rights” only referred to women who wanted to be seen as equals with men.

Shame on you, Chick-fil-A supporters. Your actions are vile, your hearts cold. Jesus would disown you.

Comments open below

Read everything by Sierra!

Sierra is a PhD student living in the Midwest. She was raised in a “Message of the Hour” congregation that followed the ministry of William Branham. She left the Message in 2006 and is the author of the blog  the phoenix and the olive branch

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About Suzanne Calulu
  • http://mimitabby.com/blog mimi boothby

    Thank you. That’s all. Thank you.

  • http://www.dregstudios.com Brandt Hardin

    If companies are people and people vote with dollars then the destination of the restaurant’s donations are open for public debate. It very well should be an issue as to where peoples’ hard-earned money goes after the chicken goes down their gullet. This issue has made our little feathered friend the modern martyr as Chick-fil-A laughs all the way to the bank. Watch the poultry be nailed to the cross and pierced by the spear of destiny at the hands of those devious cows on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/08/holy-rollin-poultry-on-cross-chick-fil.html

  • http://iamcoleslaw.blogspot.com/ Coleslaw

    It seems like if these people are so much in support of free speech, they should have had lines out the door at Lowe’s back when Lowe’s was threatened with a boycott for sponsoring the TLC program “All American Muslim”. After all, surely that was a free speech issue as well. Oh, wait, some of these people were the same people boycotting Lowe’s. My bad.

    You know, it’s only free speech if the people you disagree with are allowed to speak, too.

  • http://southernxyl.blogspot.com Laura(southernxyl)

    Coleslaw, did a government body deny Lowe’s a permit to do business because it supported that show?

    It absolutely, positively is a First Amendment issue when the government denies an organization the right to do business based on its CEO’s expressed opinions. Boycotts are an entirely different issue. Nobody has a 1A right not to be boycotted.

    There are Chicagoans asking Mayor Emmanuel where he gets off speaking for them on this issue. It’s just not his function as an elected official.

  • suzannecalulu

    It is Rohm Emmanuel’s business if he wants to protect a certain community standard that doesn’t not allow for discrimination or to keep hate groups out of his city. He has that right. However considering he does allow Dominos Pizza and Wal Mart, who also give to hate group type anti gay groups it’s silly for him to evoke moral high ground, unless he pulls their business permits as well.

    Funny that it’s Rohm causing all this talk of moral high ground considering wrong headed advice and sleazy backroom dealings he engaged in under both the George W Bush and Obama administrations. He has no room to talk.

  • http://southernxyl.blogspot.com Laura(southernxyl)

    It’s his business if he *wants* to do those things. He still has to abide by the law.

    And you’re right, it’s not as if Chicago, and Rahm himself, are such shining bastions of moral purity on every other issue, or even this one.

    I wouldn’t like it if he denied a business permit to a business that supports same-sex marriage. In fact, I myself lean toward SSM rather than away. And that’s the reason why all of us should be against this type of thing. It could be our ox being gored next time.

  • Douglas M

    What really scares me is people are not understanding what started this whole thing.  It wasn’t Mr. Cathy comments regarding gay marriage.  It was the mayor of Chicago and Boston saying they wouldn’t allow them to open new locations.  If these two mayors had not made these comments this show of appreication day would not have happened and most people probably wouldn’t have even heard Mr. Cathy’s comments.  I doubt the Online Baptist Press has a large audience.  

    What this is truly about is people in positions of power attempting to affect the economic livelihood of other people who believe a different way than they do.  There is no evidence that CFA does refuses service to gays or prohibits them from being employed by CFA.  Mr. Cathy and Obama had the same position regarding gay marriage until Obama’s views evolved.  It is possible for a person to be against gay marriage and not be “anti gay”.  Also, just because an individual is against gay marriage doesn’t mean they “hate” gay people.

    Chick Fil A did NOT support the Uganda bill as is being reported.

    “The Tony Perkins-led FRC said it did lobby on the bill, but not to kill it – rather to change the language it contained and to remove sweeping and inaccurate assertions that homosexual conduct is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right.
    FRC did not lobby against or oppose passage of the congressional resolution. FRC’s efforts, at the request of Congressional offices, were limited to seeking changes in the language of proposed drafts of the resolution, in order to make it more factually accurate regarding the content of the Uganda bill.
    FRC does not support the Uganda bill, and does not support the death penalty for homosexuality – nor any other penalty which would have the effect of inhibiting compassionate pastoral, psychological, and medical care and treatment for those who experience same-sex attractions or who engage in homosexual conduct.”

    Everyone is entitle to their own opinion.  If people wish to boycott CFA due to their stance on gay marriage, great.  If people wish to support CFA due to their stance on gay marriage, great.  However, neither side should be ok with people in positions of power threatening to effect the economic livelihood of those who don’t have the same beliefs as them.  That is a slippery slope. To be consistent, if you boycott CFA, then you have to boycott middle east oil as well as they actually execute people for being gay.

    For some the CFA appreciation day might have been about gay marriage.  In my case, it was to protest the over reaching hand of government and the thought police that hold positions of power. Plus, considering the murder rate and crime is out of control in Chicago I would figure that Rohm has more pressing issues on his plate.

  • http://calulu.blogspot.com Calulu

    Chick Fil A DID give money to a hate group that does support the Ugandan anti gay agenda and there the stakes are higher than two committed people wanting official relationship status with everyone else. In Africa it means death in most places.

    Excuse me, but Mr. Cathy DID make his remarks before Rohm Emmanuel or any other mayor said a thing about banning CFA from being there.

    My question is why is everyone bothering to eat such nasty, chemical laden, hormone laced crap in the first place? Poisoning yourself and your kids, go on ahead…

  • R.C.

    Sorry, but I have to disagree. Andrew Klavan (http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/08/01/someone-who-likes-gay-people-and-hates-fast-food-in-defense-of-chick-fil-a/) has it right.

    It is not about the gay thing!

    It’s about opposing haughty self-righteous censorious oppressive dweebs.

    Chick-Fil-A’s chief expressed a religious/moral opinion in an obscure periodical.

    It wasn’t even an anti-gay opinion; it was a pro-traditional-Christianity opinion which leftists, reading between the lines, reflexively interpreted as anti-gay.

    Some politicians used this event as an excuse to pander to the less-sophisticated and more-fascistic segment of their left-leaning constituency. The pandering took this form: These politicians attempted to prevent Chick-Fil-A from doing business in the states/counties/wards where these politicians had authority (an abuse of office, certainly an unconstitutional suppression of Dan Cathy’s freedom of speech, and probably illegal in other ways also).

    Now a lot of left-leaning folk realized this was crossing the line and said so. But as I said, the less-sophisticated and more-fascistic segment of the left cheered these crooked politicians on. Apparently the mantra of this portion of the left is something like, “Less free speech! More self-righteous haughty political correctness! More intimidation of business owners with politically incorrect opinions!”

    Now, people with traditional American attitudes towards freedom don’t like this kind of thing. They were itching for a chance to exhibit contempt for these haughty self-righteous censorious oppressive dweebs, and it turned out that the easiest and tastiest way to do so was to buy a lot of food from the business the dweebs had been threatening.

    So they did.

    And, since this attitude towards the haughty self-righteous censorious oppressive dweebs intersects strongly with Tea Party membership and not Occupy Movement, the event was not violent and involved no public defecation, hate, or profanity, but instead featured a lot of friendly people genially enjoying their lunch and waving at one another.

    There were gay people who went to Chick-Fil-A that day. Self-hating? No; they opposed haughty self-righteous censorious oppressive dweebs.

    There were libertarians who favor gay marriage who went to Chick-Fil-A that day. Hypocritical? No; they oppose haughty self-righteous censorious oppressive dweebs.

    There were Christians who are personally morally opposed to same-gendered persons engaging in mutual masturbation but who don’t agree with outlawing such private behavior there. Were they violating their religion by hating the sinner as well as the sin? No, they were just showing radical unconcern for haughty self-righteous censorious oppressive dweebs.

    That is what the Chick-Fil-A appreciation day was ABOUT, folks.

    The mainstream media, naturally, is spinning it as a frightening exhibition of the size of a resurgent Ku Klux Klan, or something. Don’t believe the hype.

  • http://southernxyl.blogspot.com Laura(southernxyl)

    Calulu, are you talking about Exodus? If so, “does support” is not accurate. Here:

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/exodus-leaders-issue-statement-against-uganda-s-anti-gay-bill-44477/

    Or is it something else you’re talking about?

  • suzannecalulu

    Another group. They have supported several other groups that are questionable. Not Exodus, even if there is no real evidence that Exodus actually works besides the anecdotal stuff they put out.

  • http://southernxyl.blogspot.com Laura(southernxyl)

    From FAQ on Exodus’s website:

    “So, how does it work, conversion therapy, I mean?” is an all-too-common question most Exodus staffers are asked on a routine basis. Truthfully, most of us don’t know. Furthermore, most of us don’t know anyone who has actually undergone this type of therapy. It’s only used by a handful of professionals, but for some reason, folks seem to think that it’s the primary function of Exodus. It’s not.

    http://exodusinternational.org/category/faqs/

  • http://calulu.blogspot.com Calulu

    Sorry folks, there are no words, long postings in the comments or anything else that is ever going to convince me that CFA Appreciation Day was any more that Hate Day. Hate Day manipulated by mass media so Cathy could make a few dollars more. He knew people were going to take umbrage with his statement, knew it would be controversial and lead to Christian lemmings coming to defend it by eating his food-like products.

  • Michelle M

    “It is possible for a person to be against gay marriage and not be ‘anti gay’.”

    No it isn’t.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    “It was the mayor of Chicago and Boston saying they wouldn’t allow them to open new locations.”

    I don’t know what’s going on in Chicago but I DO know what’s going on in Boston and the mayor did not say he “wouldn’t allow” them to open a location there. He simply “urged” them to not do so in a letter and also told them that a business that works against people’s rights would be an insult to the legacy of the city. Urging is legal, last time I checked and so are strong words, even if they hurt conservative Christians’ little fee-fees.

    A mayor cannot legally force a business to not open in hir city. Zie CAN demand that they comply with local non-discrimination laws etc., however. Then the choice is Chick-fil-A’s.

    “It is possible for a person to be against gay marriage and not be “anti gay”.”

    No, no it is not.

    “Also, just because an individual is against gay marriage doesn’t mean they “hate” gay people.”

    When a person opposes another person’s rights because of who they are, that person feels hated. These people claiming not to “hate” gay people as they line up at fast food restaurants for the sole purpose of making clear to them that their kind is not welcome in their own society need to step up and take responsibility for the suffering and harm their words and actions cause to the people they supposedly don’t hate. This is about THEM, they way THEY feel in their own country, their home, not about others trying to spare themselves the guilt of hate by dressing cruel and bullying actions up in the language of love.

  • Michelle

    Based on the info below, it doesn’t seem that FRC has supported the Ugandan bill at all.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20006856-503544.html

    The Tony Perkins-led FRC said it did lobby on the bill, but not to kill it – rather to change the language it contained and “to remove sweeping and inaccurate assertions that homosexual conduct is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right.”

    “FRC did not lobby against or oppose passage of the congressional resolution,” the group said. “FRC’s efforts, at the request of Congressional offices, were limited to seeking changes in the language of proposed drafts of the resolution, in order to make it more factually accurate regarding the content of the Uganda bill.”

    “FRC does not support the Uganda bill, and does not support the death penalty for homosexuality – nor any other penalty which would have the effect of inhibiting compassionate pastoral, psychological, and medical care and treatment for those who experience same-sex attractions or who engage in homosexual conduct,” the group adds.

  • Becky+P.

    Calulu, it has been explained to you a couple of times here. You say nothing is going to change your mind about that the CFA day. You are welcome to believe what you want to believe, but some have tried to explain it. That’s enough. There are times that different people simply can’t come to an agreement or can’t see the other person’s point of view. At that point, you must simply agree to disagree…and let it go, without disparaging the other person.

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  • erikagillian

    Is that a rule here, Becky? Because I read the explanations, and no, they didn’t change my mind. They also seemed self-serving and factually wrong on many points. Just from reading the explanations. I don’t agree to disagree. They have the right to express themselves without interference from the government, and they have whatever rights the blogger grants them here, but they don’t have a right to not have others express their public opinions about what they said.

    You cannot hate the sin and love the sinner, you cannot be against marriage equality and think you’re not being hateful to those whose rights you are trying to take away. And R.C. can pretend it’s not about the gay thing all he wants, but it is. The backlash against the “haughty self-righteous censorious oppressive dweebs” came before any of the politicians said anything, amazing how that works. And R.C., if you do actually want to convince other people of the rightness of your views, rather than grandstanding for your fellow travelers, calling them names is not the best way to do it.

    As an atheist I’m always surprised by those saying they have traditional Christian viewpoints that say they are against equal marriage rights. Because first off, biblical marriage was definitely not “one man, one woman,” it was one man, and however many women he can accumulate/support. Which means the Mormons got it right, initially. And if you want to be ‘traditional’ to the Christian church, you wouldn’t have anything to do with a priest or other official of a church for your marriage at all. It wasn’t until the 15th century that the church got involved in weddings, and that was mostly priests looking for a new revenue stream after some of the other ‘traditional’ ones were removed. For some time before that people got married in the Church porch but that was more a place that’s centrally located than anything religious.

  • Helen

    They were supporting an organisation that funds the murder of homosexuals in Uganda. That’s not a free speech issue. That is so called Christians supporting the MURDER of people they happen to disagree with.

  • Helen

    Um, LGBT rights ARE an internationally recognised human right. Among people that actually care about human rights, that is. What’s wrong with you that you don’t regard forcing ‘medical treatment’ onto people for their perfectly natural sexual inclinations as wrong? You think forcible brainwashing is okay, and sanctioned by Human Rights Organisations?

  • Helen

    It’s difficult to ‘agree to disagree’ with people who are saying, “Our support of an organisation that promotes the murder / brainwashing / arrest of homosexuals does not constitute hatred of homosexuals.”

    Because those things to constitute hatred of homosexuals.

    It’s like PETA saying that when they dressed up as the KKK, it wasn’t hateful to black people – despite many African Americans disagreeing, and the fact that they were dressed as a hate organisation.


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